Throwback Thursday: Hydrogen-Powered Tug Arrives in Belgium for Final Testing

By June 22, 2023 3   min read  (492 words)

June 22, 2023 |

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  • CMB.TECH & Port of Antwerp-Bruges welcome Hydrotug to Belgium

Recently, the Hydrotug arrived in the port of Ostend. Here, the first hydrogen-powered tugboat will be further finished with the hydrogen system. Ostend was chosen because the tug can use the hydrogen bunkering facilities of CMB.TECH’s Hydrocat 48 there.The Hydrotug consists of two BeHydro V12 dual fuel medium speed engines that can run on both hydrogen and traditional fuel. With this innovation, Port of Antwerp-Bruges strives to integrate the most environmentally-friendly technologies available. The Hydrotug can store 415kg of compressed hydrogen in 6 stillages installed on deck and eliminates the emission’s equivalent of 350 cars.

The Hydrotug is part of an integrated greening programme for the Port of Antwerp-Bruges fleet and is being deployed as an important step in the transition to a climate-neutral port by 2050. With the Hydrotug, CMB.TECH confirms its international pioneering role in the transition to ships powered by environmentally friendly fuel.

The major advantage of using hydrogen in shipping is that there are no CO2 emissions. Less CO2 emissions is good for the climate and fits in with the broader project to reduce the ecological footprint. Port of Ostend thus contributes to the reduction of the CO2 footprint in Flanders. It is the next step in which the use of fossil fuels in the context of mobility is avoided where possible.

The first water launch of the Hydrotug at Armón Shipyards in Navia Spain took place on 16 May. In the following months, the remaining construction works on the vessel were completed. On Thursday, 27 October, the tug arrived in the port of Ostend, where the hydrogen system will be further installed and tested. The goal is to have the Hydrotug fully operational in Antwerp in the first quarter of 2023.

This emphasizes the excellent relationship between the Port of Ostend and the Port of Antwerp-Bruges. The mutual interaction between the various ports is necessary to achieve the objectives regarding the energy transition and to build a Sustainable Port.

“We must use raw materials sparingly so that all generations have opportunities. Where possible, the use of fossil fuels for mobility should be replaced by the use of green electricity or hydrogen. Port of Oostende therefore supports where necessary to achieve this objective.” Dirk Declerck, CEO and Managing Director Port of Ostend

“This is another important step in the energy transition. We are working towards a sustainable and CO2-neutral port. Together with our partners and a continuous search for innovative opportunities, we are preparing for the future.” Charlotte Verkeyn, Chairman Port of Ostend

“We applaud all initiatives that improve the quality of life in the city. It is therefore good news that this unique tugboat is being further optimized in Port of Ostend. In this way, together with the other ports in Flanders, we are continuing to work towards cleaner shipping.” Bart Tommelein, Chairman REBO

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